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shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye
bite and devour one another,” by the influence of passions over you, “take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” by those same passions. “ This I say then, Walk in the Spirit of God, and ye
shall not fulfil the lusts of the passions; for the passions lust against the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God against the passions, and these are contrary the one to the other-so that ye cannot do the things that ye would,” while the passions have influence over you.
“ But if ye be led of the Spirit of God, ye are not under the law," as is manifest.
“ Now the works of the passions are these : adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings.”
Again, Lovers of their ownselves, covetous, 2 Tim. iii. 2. boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denypower
thereof." Again, “ Even as they did not like to retain God Rom. i. 28. in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not becoming, being filled with” the spirit of “ all un
James iii. 14.
James iv. 1.
righteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding," of
good things, “ covenant breakers, without natural Rev. xxii. 15. affection, implacable, unmerciful,” and “whosoever
loveth and maketh a lie.”
Again, “ But if ye have bitter envyings and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth: this wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish: for where envying and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work.”— “ From whence come wars among you? come they not hence, even of the lusts of the passions, that war in your members ?”
Again, “ And Jesus said, that which cometh out of the heart of the man, that defileth the man : for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these things come from within, and defile the man.”
We have here, then, the actions of the fallen man from the image of God, “written for our learning,"—to know ourselves by our own feelings, and to know others by their actions. The produce of the tree of evil, in the midst of the garden, which the first created were forbidden, either to touch or to taste of, “ lest ye die:” and having also the
Mark vii. 20.
Gen. iï, 3.
actions of 'the man, in his original purity before us, makes manifest the consistency throughout the Scriptures, that “ of the tree of good-thou mayest freely eat,” and remain in the purity of the Spirit of God; but “ of the tree of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”
It is, therefore, evident that the first of mankind was created in the purity of the Holy Spirit, but subject to the temptations of passions, as christians have been since their regeneration by the Holy Spirit, but with this difference :—that in Adam there was no saving grace until the law of God was fulfilled; and that was only accomplished by our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, according to the promise made to the woman, that her seed should bruise the serpent's head. So that, by the same passions the first created erred, by the same were they punished-it was the serpent's venom they partook of, which vitiated their nature, which gave the sorrow they had to bear, and the death they had to deplore; and such is the sole inheritance of their posterity, without the grace through Jesus Christ.
It is also evident that mankind, in their natural state, are deceived by the passions, which blind the mind, and harden the heart against the perception of divine truhs: and in this depraved state, they suppose the feelings and thoughts excited by the passions, are the laws of nature which they ought
to follow: and, therefore, in their thoughts and writings, they blend virtue and vice together, and form the perfection of mankind, by the standard of their own imperfection! Whereas we see that the writings they affect to despise, separate all the pure actions, which proceed from minds derived from the Spirit of Almighty God, from all the feelings and actions of their natural state, derived from the serpent, the vilest part of the creation, and “cursed above all cattle:” and this catalogue of the fruits of the seed of malignity, is alone an incontrovertible evidence of the truth of the Scriptures; and of all other writings, professing to proceed from the Almighty to be false, which do not perfectly accord with them.
The malignity of the natural man may also be seen in the actions of St. Paul,for, in his natural state, we see in him the enmity of the seed of the serpent towards the seed of the woman : and, in his regenerated state, we see in him the seed of the woman persecuted by the seed of the serpent! But the proof of the knowledge of St. Paul in the Spirit of God being foolishness. to natural minds, is Festus's observation when he was taken before Agrippa; and perhaps it would suggest the prudence of knowing ourselves, before we form a judgment of others.
“ And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad! But he said, I am
Acts xxvi. 24.
not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." But this was in accordance with the words of Isaiah, “He that de- Isaiah lix. 15. parteth from evil is accounted mad.” The blasphemy, however, of the unbelieving jews to our Saviour, shows the ignorance and infatuation of natural minds: “ And many of them said, He hath a devil, John x. 20. and is mad, why hear ye him ?” So that it is plain, to have a devil, or unclean spirit, signified madness, in the understanding of the jews in that age: whereas, from the catalogue of malignity given, they were mad, in being of the spirit of it, and could not comprehend the words of the reasonable man in the Spirit of God. And which St. Paul admits in himself, previous to his conversion, by relating his Acts xxiv. 9. own actions. “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme ; and being exceeding mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.” He refers to the death of St. Stephen, whose words also place the madness of the unregenerate in the clearest view, by relating their actions, as the seed of the serpent. “Ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart Acts vii. 51